Friday, April 30, 2010

SURGERY

Yesterday I underwent surgery to remove the hamate hook bone from my left hand. A fracture that would not heal had been discovered in my hand and surgery was the best solution to the problem. The recovery time for this procedure is typically 6-8 weeks. I'm looking forward to healing quickly and getting back out on the field.

You have to excuse me in the first two videos, as the medication was definitely working its magic.



Thursday, April 29, 2010

ESPN FIRST TAKE

I want to thank everyone that has sent me good luck wishes for quick healing of my hand over the past couple of days. In a few hours I will be heading over to the hospital to receive surgery to repair my broken hamate bone in my left hand. From what I hear, the recovery time for a surgery like this is six to eight weeks, but I am hoping I can recover quicker and get back out on the field shortly.

I also want to thank everyone for checking out my blog on a regular basis and spreading the news of my nerf basketball video. When Wade and I shot the video a few months ago we had no idea that it was going to be anything different from the usual videos I post on here. I knew something was off when I checked to see how many people had looked at it, and only two hours after it was posted the view count was around 10,000. Things only got stranger when I received an e-mail from ESPN asking if I would like to be on the show "First Take" to talk about the video. I can honestly say I thought one of my friends wrote the letter and was going to make me feel stupid when I found out I answered all his questions thinking I was on TV. I was told I would be receiving a phone call at around 7:45 a.m. so I woke up a few minutes early and went online to check their website for proof that I would be on the show. Luckily, I found my name on the "upcoming" list and could start to get focused. I want to thank ESPN for taking the time to show my video on there. I hope everyone enjoyed watching. Let me know what you thought!

First Take's Guests (Proof convincing me I was on the show)

TopicGuestAffiliation
NBA PlayoffsBrandon JenningsMilwaukee Bucks
NBA Playoffs: NuggetsBenjamin HochmanDenver Post
NFL DraftMarcus EasleyBuffalo Bills
NFLChris CooleyWashington Redskins
Stanley Cup PlayoffsMatthew BarnabyESPN
World CupBob BradleyTeam USA
Playing with TigerJim Rathburn, Kurt KimballQuail Hollow Pro-Am
Nerf HoopsMatt AntonelliSan Diego Padres
DoubleheaderTroy RenckDenver Post
Cover 2Charean WilliamsFt. Worth Star-Telegram
1st and 10Eric DavisFormer MLB player
1st and 10Bruce BowenESPN

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NFL DRAFT

Hi Guys! I have been really busy the last few days, flying over to San Diego to get my hand checked, watching my Celtics beat up on the Heat, and now helping Coach Belichick prepare for tonight's NFL draft. Tomorrow I will heading over to Scottsdale, Arizona, to meet up with another doctor who will be taking a look at my hand to make sure nothing is wrong with it. The hand specialist that I went out to see a few days ago said that he didn't see anything structurally wrong with my hand, but I am allowed a second opinion so I might as well take it just to make sure. I will let everyone know how things go tomorrow at my appointment. As for the draft tonight I've told Bill we need to get some pressure on the quarterback next year if we want to bring home another ring. I'm looking at Brandon Graham out of the University of Michigan or Sergio Kindle from the University of Texas, and if Dez Bryant wants to slip all the way to us at 22 I will gladly take him of everyone's hands and put up 50 a game again like in '07. We will see what happens. In Bill We Trust.

BASEBALL TIPS FOR THE YOUNGSTERS II

I was asked in an e-mail a few weeks ago if I could put up some baseball advice for younger kids to help teach them the game and improve their skills. Last week I put up a post about how to improve during your practice time and today I wanted to talk about things you can do to improve your fielding.

If you listen to veteran players talk about their development in the game of baseball you will almost always here them talk about how they learned to "slow the game down." There will come a time in ever player's career when the game starts to slow down for them and things seem to happen without exerting as much effort. Slowing the game down usually comes with experience. The longer you play, and the more you play, the easier it will become to slow down your surroundings. I want to talk a little bit about what you can do to help slow the game down defensively.

If you watch professional players play defense they make it look very easy and effortless. Their actions are more controlled. They don't exert as much effort, yet they always seem to be able to make the play. They make tough plays look easy and it seems as if they can make the routine play with their eyes closed. One of the biggest things that will help you slow things down is to always be in control. When you practice, learn to be controlled in your actions. When I watch younger players, or even kids high school and college, the one thing that a lot of players do is rush. They are out of control more than they should be. There is a lot of wasted motion in their movements. When they bobble a ball they compound the problem by rushing and trying to do more than they are capable of doing. No matter how hard you try, your body can only move at a certain speed without getting out of control. When you find yourself in a game and something goes wrong don't think "hurry up" or "go faster", think "be under control". Believe me, it is much easier said than done, but that's why you have to practice it.

When you are in practice and you are taking your ground balls or your fly balls always be aware of what your body is doing. Lots of players have wasted movement with their glove and arms. Try to soften your movements. You always want to be under control and you want to be sure your are down early when fielding a ground ball. When you start your defensive work take your first few ground balls or fly balls at 50% of your normal speed. See how easily and controlled you can be but still able to make all the plays. Start to build your speed until you find that perfect effort level to be able to make every play but always be under control. Fielding is a lot like hitting. Most hitters don't swing at 100% effort level. Most guys are somewhere around 85-90%. With fielding you want to think along the same lines, although you probably could be even less, around 75-80%.

When baseball season starts make sure to watch closely at how some of the best defensive players in the league play. Watch Derek Jeter make his back hand jump throw from shallow left field. He is always under control. He makes it look easy and exhibits great body control and awareness. Watch how Omar Vizquel makes a diving play but is sure to set his feet, be in control of his body, and make a strong, accurate throw. It is all about body control. They never rush. You can teach yourself how to be under control just like the pros.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

HAND PROGRESS II

Monday, April 19, 2010

WHY YOU GOING TO THE AIRPORT? FLYING SOMEWHERE?

So I was planning on doing a video today to give an update on how my hand is feeling but I'm sitting in the middle of more than a hundred strangers at the airport and I might frighten some people. I'm waiting for my plane to San Diego where I am going back for a second time to check on my hand. It has been about three weeks now, and although the pain has decreased in that time it still hasn't healed 100% and we are not really sure why. I have a meeting with our hand specialist today in San Diego at 11 AM and will be receiving another MRI on my hand at 12:30.

The last time I went to see our doctor in California I received a cortisone shot in my hand which we thought would solve the problem. I do think it may have helped somewhat, however it didn't make it feel as good as I was hoping. I took batting practice off of a tee for the second time a few days ago and the pain started to creep back into my hand. After the workout, and especially the next day it was back to being sore again. I tried to take some swings yesterday but the pain was back, although not to extent that it was a few weeks ago. I am not sure what we will find today in the new MRI, but I hope we can figure out for sure what will put an end to this problem and get me back on the field quickly. I will keep everyone updated with what happens when I arrive today. Hopefully it is good news!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

DOMAIN NAME

Hello everyone! How are we all doing on this beautiful Saturday afternoon? Today is an exciting day for me. The NBA playoffs have officially started and I am really getting pumped up to watch my Boston Celtics beat up on the Miami Heat in only a few hours. I wanted to write quickly to let everyone know that I have changed the domain name of my blog to www.matthewantonelli.com. I am extremely computer illiterate, but I finally figured out how to buy my own domain name and get my blog on it. It was actually a lot easier than I was anticipating. I know I am going to get a lot of questions as to why I chose to use Matthew instead of Matt. The answer is that Matt was already taken, so I went with the next best option, my actual birth name. Anyhow, I am pretty sure you can still get to the blog the same way you always have and it will direct you over to the new site. Hope everyone has a great day and GO CELTICS!

Friday, April 16, 2010

NBA PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS

I am pumped that the NBA playoffs are finally here. I've had to watch my Celtics put it in cruise control (nowhere close to the speed limit) throughout the entire second part of the season and listen to every one of my friends tell me that they are to old, to slow, to hurt, and plain old not good enough to go anywhere in the playoffs. Well, I happen to disagree. I'm going to give what I think will happen this playoff season using 100% of my heart and absolutely 0% of my brain.

Round 1 East
Cleveland over Chicago
Orlando over Charlotte
Atlanta over Milwaukee
Boston over Miami

Round 1 West
Los Angeles over Oklahoma City
Dallas over San Antonio
Phoenix Over Portland
Denver over Utah

Round 2 East
Boston over Cleveland
Orlando over Atlanta

Round 2 West
Los Angeles over Denver
Dallas over Phoenix

Round 3 East/West
Boston over Orlando
Dallas over Los Angeles

Championship
Boston Celtics over Dallas

What do you guys think? I can't wait to get yelled at.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

SPRING TRAINING AT-BATS

Last week the Padres lost a great player and good friend of mine Chad Huffman to the New York Yankees. New York claimed Chad off waivers last Wednesday and sent him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. Chad and I were drafted the same year, one round apart, and we have played together every year since 2005 in the Cape Cod League, Eugene, Oregon, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Lake Elsinore, California, San Antonio, Texas, and Portland, Oregon. Chad will definitely be missed and we all wish him the best of luck with his new team.

Since I haven't been able to play in a baseball game for a few weeks now I thought I would put up some Spring Training at-bats of mine that I found on YouTube. It helps remind me that I still play baseball.



Wednesday, April 14, 2010

HAND PROGRESS

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

This is how you celebrate the big two five in a hotel 3000 miles from home with a hurt hand.

Monday, April 12, 2010

HI MY NAME IS...

This section was inspired by one of my twitter followers a few days ago. I really like the idea and I appreciate the recommendation. Since not a ton of people who read this know me very well off the field I will take a quick minute once a week to help educated you by giving a random fact about me. I will try to keep every fact unrelated to baseball. Here we go:

The first thing you should know about me is that I am the pickiest eater you will ever meet. Actually, I'm not just a picky eater, I'm an extremely weird eater. As a young kid, I was a nightmare to all of my friend's parents who couldn't stand cooking for me when I was over for dinner. Now I'm a nightmare for friends who want to meet up at a restaurant. Here's a quick rundown of my weirdness. I hate tomatoes, but love ketchup and salsa. I hate cheese, but love pizza and cheese fries. I really hate eggs. Not only can I not eat them, but I can't even look at or smell scrambled eggs without getting sick. My family owned an Italian Restaurant for over twenty years and people rave about their pasta sauce, but I prefer Stop and Shop's jarred sauce. My grandmother wants to slap me every time I turn down her homemade pasta. Not only that, but I don't really like Italian food in general. I hate any kind of fish. I don't like sweets, like cakes, pies, or candy bars, especially chocolate. For Christmas dinner we cook an elaborate Italian meal, but they order me Chinese food. I don't know why I am like this. Believe me, I would love to be able to eat more food than I do. It is a pain in the ass to order the same thing every time I go out to eat. My meals have all consisted of meat and potatoes since the time I was five. They say your taste buds change every seven years or so. Mine seem to be the only ones that don't change.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

30/100 GUYS

I was talking to a buddy of mine last week and we were chatting about the upcoming fantasy baseball season. He was asking me about some players and what kind of years I thought they were going to have this year. We started talking about a specific player who is a young guy with only a few years of Major League experience under his belt. I think the guy is a solid MLB player, but my buddy says he will never be anything that good and shouldn't even have a starting job next year. His reasoning was, "he's never going to be a 30 home run 100 RBI guy. I think they should just try to trade him or release him if nobody else wants him."

This got me thinking about the numbers 30 home runs and 100 RBI. I don't know why everyone seems to bring up these numbers all the time. Yes they sound, and even look really pretty, but if you can put up these numbers you are not an average player, you are an all-star player. I ended up searching online to find out how many 30 home run 100 RBI guys there were last year. It turns out there were 16. That is it, 16 guys out of the around 300 positional players that get enough playing time to put up these type of numbers. There were a few guys that were either a few RBI away or a few home runs away, so I'll even round up to 20 guys. I don't know if some people are still stuck in the "steroid era" when leadoff hitters were hitting 30 home runs, but 30/100 are not good numbers, they are great numbers. I had to slap my buddy around a little bit to get this in his head, but I think I succeeded.

Let me know what you think about the subject. If you think I am wrong you can yell at me, I won't take it personal. I'm just interested to see what you think.

Friday, April 9, 2010

TESTING 1,2,3

Yesterday during practice was the first time I've picked up a bat in almost two weeks. The resting period was finally over and it was time to see how much progress my hand has made over the last two weeks. Towards the end of practice I grabbed my bat and headed over to the batting cage where I was allowed to take some swings off of the tee. It doesn't seem like it would be the most exciting thing in the world, but my favorite part about baseball is hitting, so I was excited to swing the bat again.

I started by swinging around 50% for the first ten to fifteen balls to make sure everything was feeling OK. I was surprised to see how good my swing felt. I figured it would take me a while to feel comfortable swinging again, but I felt really good right off the bat. I wasn't experiencing any pain so I kept picking up the pace for the next fifteen swings or so to see if I could get close to a game type swing without any pain. When I got to around 75-80% I could feel that my hand wasn't 100% healed yet. I still had a little bit of discomfort, and I am not sure if this is because my hand just isn't used to swinging or if it needs a little more time off. We decided that I will take the next few days off from hitting just to make sure everything is OK and we will see how it feels on Monday.

In the meantime we are doing everything we can to get it feeling better. Most of my mornings are filled with icing, heating, ultra sounding, stemming, stretching, messaging, strengthening, and any other ING word that pops into your head. I look forward to the day that I won't have to worry about anything and will be able to play pain free. Until then, the training room it is.


Quote of the week-

One thing I love to do is read non-fiction books, especially about great people of history. Lately I have been reading a lot more since I've been unable to practice because of my hand. I came across a quote that I really like and I thought I would share it with you. I find it to be very true.

If you think you're beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win, but you think you can't,
It's almost certain you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you've lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will,
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you're outclassed, you are,
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win the prize.

Life's battles don't always go,
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I'M BACK...ALMOST

Yesterday was my first day back to practice in more than a week. As much as I love to practice, and sitting around all day with a splint on your wrist could win the "most boring thing on earth" award, my hand definitely needed the rest. I arrived at practice a few hours early so our trainers could take a look at my hand and put me through some strength tests to prove I was pain free and ready to return to practice. The tests aren't really that complex. It is actually pretty similar to an arm wrestling competition. They take my hand and put it into all different positions while yanking as hard as they can to see if anything bothers me. I passed all of their tests and was allowed to suit up and participate in most of our drills. I was allowed to field and throw, but I'm not allowed to hit until tomorrow. We wanted to make sure my hand didn't hurt from any of the other activities before I receive the green light for hitting. After practice my hand felt great and I'm looking forward to the real test tomorrow of hitting. I feel pretty confident that I shouldn't have any problems with it.

I received some questions over the past week about what type of stuff I was allowed to do while I was in my splint for the seven days. The answer to that question is, nothing. Well, almost nothing. I was allowed to work on my cardio, but that mostly only consisted of riding a stationary bike. They really wanted to make sure that I put absolutely zero stress on my hand for seven days. I stretched a lot, did core workouts, and got lower body lifts in (squats, lunges, leg curls). Other than that I wasn't really allowed to do anything. Below are a few pictures of my normal routine for the past week once I got home from practice, just to make sure I didn't injury myself anymore than I already had.




Tuesday, April 6, 2010

BASEBALL TIPS FOR THE YOUNGSTERS

I received a really good idea in an e-mail a few days ago that I wanted to incorporate every few weeks or so into my blog. The idea was to give some tips to young players to help them improve their skills as baseball players. I am really excited about this idea because one thing I love to do in the off-season is give baseball lessons to younger players. I have always loved coaching, and when my career is one day over I will definitely give back to the game by passing on any knowledge I may have by coaching younger players.

I have been very fortunate so far in my young career to be coached by some great baseball minds. I have learned a lot over the years so I am excited to share some of the things I have learned to kids around the country. I figured the first thing I could talk about was practice because we have all heard thousands of times since we were little kids, "practice makes perfect."

I think younger players would be very surprised if they saw the amount of time and energy Major League players put into practice. One of the most important things I could pass on to little league, high school, and college players is how to approach your practice time. Every player's goal is continue to get better and improve their game. There are many different ways you can get better as a player, but the main way you get better is by practicing. What you put into your practice is what you are going to get out of it. Every time you practice, whether it is in your basement by yourself, a winter workout with your AAU team, Spring Training, or during the season, you should be doing something to get better. You must have a purpose behind everything you are doing, be it hitting, fielding, defense, or base running. Have a game plan before you arrive at practice. Pick something specific that you want to work on before you get to practice and really focus on that one thing during your drill work. Think of it as "planning the work, then working the plan." A lot of times players show up for practice and put their minds on "cruise control" just going through the motions until the practice is over. Remember, when it comes to your skills as a player you never stay the same, you either get better or you get worse, and the choice is up to you. Never forget the words of John Wooden, one of the greatest coaches to ever live, "Failure to prepare is preparing to fail."

Monday, April 5, 2010

QUICK TRIP TO SD

Well, yesterday I received some bad news from our training staff. Before I tell you what they said, let me explain what happened. This past Thursday I took a quick morning flight out to San Diego to get a cortisone shot in my hand. I jumped on a plane around 11 AM and took the short hour flight over to San Diego. I hopped in a cab and drove twenty minutes to see our team doctor so he could check out the hand and see exactly what the problem could be. We talked for a little while as he pushed around on my hand trying to diagnose it. He decided a shot would be the best thing for it. After about a thirty minute meeting with him I jumped back in the taxi and headed for the airport. I jumped back on the plane and flew back to Phoenix for the reminder of Spring Training. As much as I don't really look forward to flying, I felt like some important business man for the day, kind of like Donald Trump, expect with better hair. I'm just playing. I love The Donald. You're Fired!!!


For some reason I have been experiencing pain in my left hand on and off since last season and I haven't been able to figure out the source of the problem. Last year I missed a week of play because of it, and when I came back to play I had to try and play through the pain for the rest of the season. I came into Spring Training thinking that the off-season rest was good enough to heal my hand, but for some reason the pain started to come back about two weeks ago. I am hoping this shot will calm down whatever the problem is and I won't have to worry about it ever again.

I am still not exactly sure how much time I will miss because of the injury. From what the doctors say it sounds like it is nothing really serious, just some inflammation inside my hand that should be fine with rest. I am hoping in the next few days when I pick a bat up again the pain will be gone and I will be ready to roll for the season. As far as where we stand today, I am going to miss opening day but hopefully will be back after a few games or so. I know that my hand is feeling better today and hopefully in a few more days the pain will be gone. I will keep everyone updated this week with my progress and how things are going. Man I hate injuries.

It is never fun to miss time because of an injury, especially when you have to miss opening day because of it. Below is my reaction when the doctor told me I wasn't going to be heading up to Portland on Sunday to get ready for our first game.

video

Sunday, April 4, 2010

HAPPY EASTER

I want to wish everyone a very happy Easter today. I am really missing my Easter dinner that I usually have at home. I think this is the 8th year in a row I will be on the road and not be home to celebrate. It is really crazy because it feels like only a few months ago that I was back home to eat my Grandmother's good cooking. I hope everyone enjoys the day with family and good food.

On a side note, I am looking for a new name for my blog and I wanted to ask for your help. "The Official Blog of Matt Antonelli" was good to start with, but I am interested to try some new names, something a little more creative. Let me know if you have any good ideas.

Also, I am looking for some new concepts to add a little bit of flavor to the blog. Let me know if you guys have any good ideas. I will really listen to anything. I appreciate all the help and hopefully we can come up with some cool new ideas! Thanks!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

ITS NOT A PURSE, ITS CALLED A SATCHEL

Take a look at these wine purses! A friend of mine makes these and he does an awesome job. I wish I was this creative, but unfortunately I'm not. I just bought a few for my family and if you know any wine connoisseurs or think you might be interested in finding out more about them e-mail me at mattantonelli9@gmail.com. I know this has nothing to do with baseball but they are bad-ass and I wanted to help him get the word out. Thanks!




Friday, April 2, 2010

ATHLETE FOR A DAY

If you could be one professional athlete, who would it be and why? A few months ago I did an interview for Sporting News and was asked the same question. I think the date was around November 23 when I did the interview and my answer was Tiger Woods. Little did I know that three days later he would find a way to drive his Escalade into a tree and receive a beating from a Victory Red STR8-FIT driver. I, along with most of the world, saw Tiger in a totally different light than what was revealed only a few days later. It got me thinking about my choice and how I would answer that question differently today. There are a few athletes that were a close second, but I can't really decide who I would pick.

If I had to pick a football player it would definitely be Tom Brady. First off I am a football nut and an even bigger Patriots fan. The guy is one of the best quarterbacks not only in the game today, but off all-time. He's married to a Victoria's Secret Model, has a "bajillion" dollars, and seems like a genuinely nice guy. Not too shabby.

A basketball player that would rival my Tom Brady pick would be "The Akron Hammer" Lebron James. I am also a huge fan of basketball, and as much as I would love to see the Celtics lay the smack down on the Cavs this playoffs, I still wouldn't pass up the opportunity to be Lebron. When it is all said and done, he will probably be known as the greatest basketball player to ever walk the earth. I know people are going to yell at me that Jordan won six championships, but one of these day's Lebron is going to find his Scottie Pippen and the championships are going to start pouring in. Another plus if I was Lebron, I would pretty much own Nike, which is a pretty big company. Sweet.

The last pick that would make it tough on me would be David Beckham. I'll admit it, I am not the biggest soccer fan in the world, but that wouldn't make me not want to be Beckham. He might be one of the biggest sports stars in the world. Although, if I was going to pick him I would want to travel back to around 1995 before he was married to Posh Spice. I'm sure she is a lovely lady, she's just not my type. She needs to eat some more food.

These are my picks for athletes that are currently still playing in their respective sport. There are a lot of other athlete's of the past that I would love to be. Muhammad Ali, Ted Williams, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, the list could go on forever.

Who would you like to be?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

INTRO SONG

With the season only a week away I have started to look into what I want for my intro song this year. An intro song is the song that is played when they announce your name as you walk from the on-deck circle to home plate. The song usually plays for about 20 seconds or so. Let me know what you think would be a good song for me. Below is a song that I am thinking about using just so you have an idea about my style, but I am open to anything that is good. Let me know what you think. Thanks!

Sorry about the horrible quality but I'm not tech savvy enough to know how to get it on here another way.


video